VIRGINIA — Nabra Hassanen, 17, was murdered Sunday in an incident that involved an illegal immigrant. The mainstream media was quick to call it a hate crime, as Nabra was Muslim, despite the fact the Fairfax County police disagrees. But regardless of police report, the media continued to push the possibility of a hate crime, while totally ignoring the suspect’s immigration status.
Described as road rage, the incident involved Darwin Marinez Torres, 22, who is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.
The details of the murder are disturbing.
According to reports, Torres approached a group of teens hanging out on a sidewalk.
First, Torres drove up on the curb scaring the group to run away. Then Torres located the group in a parking lot and chased them with a baseball bat. Eventually, he caught up to Nabra and proceeded to beat her. He then put Nabra in his car. Her body was found in a pond later that day.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Northern Virginia said Nabra had sustained “blunt-force trauma to the head and neck.”
According to CNN, the victim’s parents felt their daughter was targeted because she was wearing an abaya, a robe-like dress worn by some Muslim women.
However, the police said there were no indications that the incident was a hate crime.
Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said Monday, “It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence.” Parker clarified Torres’s motivation, saying, “There is nothing at this point to indicate that this tragic case was a hate crime.”
That didn’t stop CNN from ignoring the police statement, insisting Nabra must have been targeted for being a Muslim. “Despite what law enforcement says, its timing coming amidst a recent spike in attacks on Muslims raised concerns in the Muslim community and prompted calls for increased security,” writes CNN.
The CNN article proceeds to use inflammatory quotes, such as Nabra’s father saying, “This is a hate crime. It’s racism. Getting killed because she’s Muslim.” They also quote Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American Islamic Relations, who has connections to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, according to the FBI. CAIR is insisting on an investigation of a possible bias.
He wonders if the group would have been targeted if they had not been “of a certain faith or ethnicity?”
The New York Times links the incident to a rise in hate crimes against Muslims. The Times points out that Fairfax county prosecutor Raymond F. Morrogh said hate crime charges might be filed after the investigation is complete. “I wouldn’t rule it out until I see all of the evidence,” Morrogh reportedly said. The Times article didn’t mention Torres’s immigration status.
Other outlets, including NBC, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed, ran the story and were sure to mention that Nabra was Muslim, yet failed to provide details about Torres. Instead, the articles question why the police aren’t investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Al-Jazeera questioned the decision as well, writing, “Many express outrage over Virginia police’s decision not to investigate murder of Muslim teenager as a hate crime.” In Al-Jazeera’s article, they point out that the incident took place near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. The piece includes tweets from people who are sure the murder was a hate crime, backed not by evidence but by opinion. Here is a sampling:
— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) June 19, 2017
Road rage. Indeed.
If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you’re lying to yourself. pic.twitter.com/zIo0YiVjjK
— rabia chaudry (@rabiasquared) June 19, 2017
— ayan (@NubianInGold) June 19, 2017
The Al-Jazeera article also says:
‘Words shape narrative’
Police had announced earlier on Monday that they were “not investigating [Hassanen’s] murder as a hate crime”, provoking deep skepticism [sic] among many within the Muslim community.
A tweet they include repeats the sentiment. Written by Hanif J. Williams, it reads: “The murder of #Nabra was a hate crime done by a terrorist. Words shape narrative and we need to use correct adjectives when describing evil.”
The murder of #Nabra was a hate crime done by a terrorist
Words shape narrative and we need to use correct adjectives when describing evil
— Hanif J. Williams (@HanifJWilliams) June 19, 2017
The video below recaps the crime, mentions Nabra’s faith, but also neglects to give details about Torres.
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